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Making Therapy's Epiphanies Stick

Creative Memory Techniques to Help Clients Retain Insights and Skills

Danie Beaulieu • 11/30/2017 • No Comments

By Danie Beaulieu - Back in the routine of their daily lives, it's all too easy for our clients to return to old patterns without stopping to examine their actions and reactions in light of what they've recently learned. Fortunately, some creative memory techniques can reduce the need to repeat ourselves with our clients. Once you get used to them, you'll be amazed at how simply and effectively you can apply them.

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The Healing Power of Taking Baby Steps

Hope Follows Action, Not the Other Way Around

Yvonne Dolan • 10/27/2017 • No Comments

By Yvonne Dolan - Favoring positive emotions and subtly trying to subdue negative ones can sometimes backfire. Though focusing on mundane tasks in the present can seem impossibly beside the point for someone who has suffered a life-shattering event, it can help build, inch by inch and then yard by yard, a pathway out of despair and into the fullness of life.

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The New Anatomy of Emotion

How Brain Science Can Teach Couples Emotional Literacy

Brent Atkinson • 10/5/2017 • 1 Comment

By Brent Atkinson - Even among couples who do make progress in therapy, a disheartening chunk relapse. Why? A lack of emotional literacy. Good clinicians help couples effectively calm their anger and fear circuits as well as stimulate the more vulnerable, connection-generating states. The therapist acts as a kind of neural chiropractor, making regular, finely tuned adjustments to each partner's out-of-sync brain.

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VIDEO: Rick Hanson on Using Brain Science to Build Inner Strengths

Cultivating Positive Emotions, Attitudes, and Virtues in Ourselves and Others

Rick Hanson • 8/16/2017 • No Comments

Weaving together insights from evolutionary biology, modern neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness practices, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson claims the difficulty at the core of human experience is our perpetual struggle to overcome the negativity bias wired into our brains. In the following clip from his Symposium Keynote, he explains how understanding the brain can help therapists and their clients grow inner strengths.

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So Your Client Doesn't Want to Connect?

The Paradoxical Effect of Trying Too Hard

Steven Shapiro • 5/19/2017 • No Comments

By Steven Shapiro - What stands in the way of connecting effectively? I've found that the major difficulty stems, paradoxically enough, from trying too hard. Even if they're highly motivated to get into therapy, many clients have only limited tolerance for emotional connection, interpersonal closeness, and sympathetic concern. Here are three guidelines that may help you form a solid alliance with your hard-to-reach clients.

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Shifting Out of Extreme Trauma States

Here's How Neuroscience Can Shift Your Client's Emotions in an Instant

Frank Anderson • 12/5/2016 • 2 Comments

By Frank Anderson - Most extreme reactions resulting from trauma fall under one of two categories: sympathetic hyperarousal and parasympathetic blunting. Understanding what happens in the nervous system when clients experience either orients me on how to go beyond my immediate reactions when confronted with trauma symptoms in the therapy room.

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Mastering the Art of Therapeutic Judo

A Three-Step Process for Cooling Volatile Emotions from the Very First Session

Thomas Sexton • 11/3/2016 • 1 Comment

By Thomas Sexton - Fifteen-year-old Sarah’s arrest came as a complete shock to her parents. When they came in for their first session, I was immediately met with angry outbursts and sullen looks. Like many therapists, I want to take action immediately to calm volatile emotions. But what could I do here? Based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent and violent juveniles and their families, I’ve found that the research-backed clinical model Functional Family Therapy guides me in sessions and keeps me grounded. Here's how it works.

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Does Positive Psychology Really Work?

A Myth Buster Reveals the Truth Behind Martin Seligman's Happiness Movement

Barbara Ehrenreich • 10/27/2016 • 3 Comments

By Barbara Ehrenreich - The central claim of positive psychology, as of positive thinking generally, is that happiness is not only desirable in and of itself but actually useful, leading to better health and greater success. But is this actually the case, or is positive psychology nothing more than pop science?

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Connecting Emotions to a Felt Body Sense

Using the Body to Help Clients Break Old Habits and Stuck Patterns

Daniel Leven • 6/29/2016 • 2 Comments

By Daniel Leven - Many therapists remain so focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings in clients’ minds that they forget about the pivotal information to be gleaned by paying more attention to clients’ bodies. The three-step somatic process below can be used with just about any therapeutic approach, and it will help you directly access the important information that lives within clients’ immediate physical experience.

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The Healing Power of Therapeutic Crying

How Crying in the Therapy Room Can Bring About Big Changes

Jeffrey Von Glahn • 4/26/2016 • 4 Comments

By Jeffrey Von Glahn - Too often these days, I find that many clinicians are unaware of the difference between clients’ therapeutic crying and situations in which clients are forced to deal with an overwhelming incident that takes them beyond their coping capacity and makes them feel vulnerable. Just a minute or two of deep therapeutic crying can bring about profound changes. And facilitating therapeutic crying isn’t a complicated process. Most of the time, the less the therapist does, the better.

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